Safety for Re-entry

After a fire, many dangers might remain. Learn about the safety measures and updates.

Updated over a week ago

Hawai‘i State Department of Health Information

  • Hazardous area. Not recommended for high-risk individuals.

  • Wear protective gear. Bring extra clothes and bags for recovered belongings.

  • After visiting the impact area, dispose of used gear. Wash hands and change clothes.

Take precautions when temporarily entering the impacted area

  • Signs of heat stress

  • Be aware of emotional impacts

  • Exercise caution around ash and other hazards

Know before you go to the Impacted Area

The impacted area and its surroundings are hazardous with unstable structures, sharp metal objects and ash with potentially toxic substances. Preliminary air sampling and air monitoring conducted in Lāhainā do not show evidence of poor air quality or any hazardous levels of contaminants in the air at the time the samples were collected.

  • Dangers include ash containing toxic chemicals like asbestos, arsenic, and lead.

  • Debris may include broken glass, exposed electrical wires, nails, wood, plastics, and other hazardous objects.

  • Buildings may be unstable and could collapse, causing injury.

  • For full details on reducing exposure to ash and hazardous materials when returning to the Lahaina Wildfire Disaster Area, view the DOH video below or Download Re-entry guide in English | Español (Spanish)

What personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided?

PPE items have been donated, and kits are being assembled by local volunteer organizations. These kits will be made available when people register for entry passes. Visitors to the area should wear sturdy boots or other closed-toe shoes (no slippers) with thick soles, and eye protection. Adults should use the materials provided in the Re-Entry kit or similar forms of protective gear, including face masks, goggles and gloves, long sleeves, pants, socks, and shoes (including disposable shoe coverings) to avoid skin contact with ash. Cloth masks will not protect you from ash. Instead, state DOH recommends wearing a tight-fitting respirator or mask – look for words NIOSH or N95 printed on the mask. Remember, no mask is effective unless it fits and is worn properly.

Disclaimer: The recommendations from Hawai’i State Department of Health (DOH) on this page are informational and general in nature. The contents herein are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice. It is DOH’s goal to provide information to assist the largest number of people based on current environmental conditions; however, for direction specific to you and any pre-existing medical conditions you may have, please contact a licensed medical professional. Enter at your own risk.

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